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Monday, July 16 2018 @ 08:38 AM EDT

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New Opportunity To Obtain Permanent Residency in Panama

Immigration Issues After the latest modifications in immigration laws on 2008, the requirements to demonstrate economic solvency had become much more strict, reason for which many foreigners couldn’t apply for a Permanent Residence Permit. With Executive Decree No. 416 of 12 June 2012, issued by the Executive Branch, now we have a new sub-category of Permanent Residence, for foreigners from a list of 22 countries with which Panama maintains a friendly relationship. By only demonstrating the economic or professional activity to be performed by the foreigner, (which will not be against current law regulations regarding retail commerce and liberal professions reserved for Panamanians only), as well as a proof of economic solvency which can consist of a certification of a bank account in Panama with a balance of at least US$5,000.00; the citizens of the following 22 countries can apply for a Permanent Residence Permit: Sweden, Chile, Uruguay, Singapore, Switzerland, Check Republic, Norway, Holland, United States of America, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Slovakia, France, Finland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Japan.

The foreigner whose nationality is included in the list above, can also include as dependents: his/her spouse, children under 18, relatives with disability and parents who depend on them. In addition to the above-mentioned requirements, the applicant must provide other documents that are common for the residence permits, such as: photographs, copy of identification document, proof of kinship, police record/criminal background verification, health certificate, checks in favor of the National Treasury and the National Immigration Service, among others.

For more information, please contact us: Lic Gabriel Almanza, email galmanza@aa-panama.com, telephone in Panama (507) 264-5502, fax (507) 264-8751, or visit our website.

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Foreigners Arrested For Prostitution

Immigration IssuesForeigners were arrested early today after being allegedly linked to a prostitution ring. The arrests came as the result of an operation conducted by police officers in the area of the 5th of May Plaza, specifically in the area known as the "yellow building". For months there were reported cases of prostitution both day and night. Those arrested will be forwarded to the Immigration service, because they did not have their papers in order. (Dia a Dia)
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Italian Busted At Paso Canoa Border Checkpoint

Immigration IssuesAlbino Portoghese, a 43 year old Italian, was arrested by detectives of the Judicial Investigation Department of the National Police (INTERPOL-Panama), because Italian authorities had issued a "Red Notice" for the crime of drug trafficking. The man was arrested over the weekend at the Paso Canoa checkpoint as he entered Panama from Costa Rica.

Editor's Comment: Highlight - the Costa Rican authorities show that, once again, they are flat on their asses. This guy managed to check out of Costa Rica (with the same "Red Notice" pending against him) and the CR authorities didn't catch it. (Siglo)

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Take This Job And Shove It...

Immigration IssuesA man who worked at the Directorate of Immigration in Colon was arrested after he got angry and broke the windows of the car belonging to Deputy Commissioner Ronaldo Mendoza Tapia, the deputy director of the institution in that province. Apparently, the public servant, identified as Innocencio Sugasti, did not like the fact that Deputy Commissioner Mendoza had put him on a job rotation, and this was why he got some rocks and destroyed the windshield and the driver's window of his boss's car. Sugasti was reported, after which police officers and DIJ detectives handcuffed him. The agency announced his actions will cost him is job. (Critica)

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Costa Rica and Panama Negotiating The Elimination Of Passports For Border Crossing

Immigration IssuesCosta Rica and Panama are working towards eliminating the need for passports for its citizens to move across the border. The announcement was made by Costa Rica's president Laura Chinchilla and her Panamanian counterpart, Roberto Martinelli, holding a bilateral meeting Friday after the inauguration ceremony of the Sixaola temporary border bridge. The objective is to reduce the immigration procedures for Panamanian and Costa Rican citizens to cross the border between the two countries. In remote areas like Sixaola, area residents normally cross back and forth across the border freely. (insidecostarica.com)
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Here's One For The Lawyers Out There - Do Old Convictions Screw You For Immigration Issues?

Immigration IssuesBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I received a question from a person who wants to come to Panama under the Pensionado program, but they are concerned about the requirement for an FBI background check. They have a very old (30+ years ago) conviction and more recent arrests but the charges were dismissed. I simply don't know the rules - what will Immigration let through, and what will cause a rejection. Do any of you really smart lawyers types out there know the deal? Has anyone else had experience with this sort of thing? Where is the bar set? Please put answers in the comments section below. Thankos muchos...

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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43 People Sworn In As New Panamanian Citizens

Immigration IssuesAt the end of each month, the Government of Panama swears in approximately 45 people who become residents of the Republic. The most recent event was held on Thursday, 28 June 2012. On that day 43 people were sworn in as new Panamanian citizens, in an event witnessed by Government Minister Jorge Ricardo Fabrega and the ambassador of Colombia, Maria Angela Benedetti Villaneda. In this most recent ceremony there were 15 Colombians and 15 Chinese. The citizens of these countries are those who most often acquire Panamanian nationality, according to statistics from the Interior. Others who benefited from this measure were born in Argentina, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, India, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, Ukraine and Thailand.

Nationalized Annually - So far this year about 792 people have been sworn in, according to Eva Samudio, of the Disclosure Department of the Interior. In 2011 a total of 559 people of various nationalities were sworn in as new Panamanians. Taking into account the country of birth or origin, the person can hope to get both nationalities, provided this is permitted by the laws of their home country. (Siglo)

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Response And Follow Up To Yesterday's "Spilled Perfume" Story

Immigration IssuesBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Received today as a follow up and in response to the article published yesterday - Don't Cry Over - Spilled Perfume? (US Citizen Denied Entry At Tocumen International Airport) - "Dear Sir, I am writting you to follow up on my comment about the spilt perfume although you make think this whole ordeal a joke. Let me explain to you I have traveled to Mexico, Chilie, Ecuador, Spain,Portugal which are obviously out of the United States boarders. I work for Brook Brothers retail stores and have traveled all over the US to open new store. If you read the email I wrote I was there to help with a store opening and train the team with the new store! Let me explain a little bit of my background so maybe you can understand where I am coming from with this story.

I wad BORN, let me repeat myself Born in Boston, MA. I went to college there graduated and went straight into retail managment. I have been in retail now for 19yrs. I have been working with BB nw for 7 1/2 yrs. I am a single mother of a 7 yr old boy, I live here in Georgia close by my parents, brother and sister and their families. My travel and when I travel is usually 3-4days and no more because of my son. My travel time to Panama was fly in tuesday the 26 and out the 29th. I cant understand how you got that there must be more from this than just spilt perfume! Lets go back a bit "hello how did I get back in the US?" If thete was more to my story why would the States ley me back in. I do think the US has much more sophisticated equipment then Panama. I dont think you get the whole point of my email "crying over spilt perfume" not a chance! The last time I cried was when my son was born at 24weeks at 1lb 6oz and given 30% survival so dont tell me about crying! I still think I was the pick day! Look Ive traveled to plenty countries to know whats right and whats wrong, whats unprofessional and whats professional behavior. I still think they handled the whole situation very poorly. I am just trying to figure out how a country supposedly working to build relationships with retailers to bring more business to their country can be treated so unprofessional. I must add to this I did not ask to go to Panama I was asked by the group that is franchising BB to come out and train their employees. So where your getting there must be more to this story, Im sorry but there isnt! I am no criminal, nor am I in any sort of group. I am just a manager at a BB store! Sorry that I wasnt some sort of spy or something maybe it would of made your perception of my mishap a little more exciting!"

Editor's Comment: Look, I have no idea why the government of Panama refused you entry. It very well could have been because of the spilled perfume, as you suspect. However, it could also have been for some other reason. And once again, nowhere in this email did you explicitly claim the Panamanian authorities said you were being refused entry because your passport was damaged (by the perfume). That's what you suspect, and I understand your position, but the fact of the matter is - you don't know for sure. I have two more observations - glad to see Brooks Brothers is coming to Panama. Secondly, you might want to consider using both a spelling and grammar checker before sending out any more written communications. Just a suggestion...

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Permanent Residency for Nationals of Countries Friendly to Panama

Immigration IssuesBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I received the following from Lic. Ricardo Faraudo of the Panama Relocation Attorneys. He wrote up this explanation of the new Permanent Resident Visa category for those from "friendly" countries;

Permanent Residency for Nationals of Countries Friendly to Panama - This permanent residency option allows foreigners from, one of the countries listed below, to obtain legal permanent residency in Panama, under the condition that they are going to practice economic or professional activities of any type in the Republic of Panama.

The nationals of the following countries will be allowed to apply for a permanent residency under the current residency option: Germany, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Spain, United States, Slovakia, France, Finland, The Kingdom of the Netherlands (The Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao & Sint Maarten), Ireland, Japan, Norway, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Singapore, Uruguay, Chile and Sweden. (more)

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Don't Cry Over - Spilled Perfume? (US Citizen Denied Entry At Tocumen International Airport)

Immigration Issues By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Received this afternoon via email: "Dear sir, The reason for my email is a little hard to understand but yet quite amusing. I actually traveled to Panama yesterday morning at 6:40 am from Atlanta GA due to arrive in Panana at 11:30am. Evrrything was running smoothly, left the US with my passport in hand and was told by the US to continue my travel. I must tell you though there was a spilt perfume bottle next to my passport and it leaked on to it. Of course the worst thing about it was that out of all 4 people who looked at it just said "well it smells good". So I countinued onward with not a worry.

When I got to immigration the lady at the counter asked me what happened and I said oh the perfume bottle spilled on it. She kept looking at it and I said go ahead smell it its just perfume! She askes me why I was there for I said I am here to help with the opening of a new store here in Via Espania. I will only be here for four days to train and get the store ready. I continued to show her my work flight intinerary showing I was here for that reason and that reason only. She continued to tell me that she need to show her supervisor and that it would take just a few minutes. 20 min later she comes back and asks me to take a seat until someone talks to me.

3 hours later a man in uniform calls my name and says please follow me. I said are you taking me to talk to somone, he says no Im taking you to your plane for you flight back. I look at him very confused and distort, home where? To Atlanta. I said what because of the perfume smell on my passport? They treated me very poorly and not even a word of what was happening. I was there to train a new store a very well know store here in the United States and give Panama the best support I could give with my knowledge. I dont know maybe because I was a women traveling alone they thought they could easily do this and I would just go away. But I was treated like a criminal and for what for perfume stain on my passport. I traveled from6:40am-12:30am the following day, it was a long and very unnecessary mishap and now have to report to the company I work for why I couldn't help with the new Panama store because of perfume, how embarrassing and how disappointed and almost sad to have our store represented there when I was treated so poorly."

Editor's Comment: Two observations here. First of all, the person writing this email is apparently assuming she was refused entry into Panama because of the perfume that was spilled on her passport. At no point does she clearly say the Panamanian immigration officials flat out told her she was being refused entry because her passport had been damaged in some way. Panama now uses a relatively sophisticated traveler monitoring system, linked in to databases maintained by the United States and the rest of the nations of Central America and the region. It's possible (probable) this person was refused entry to Panama because of something that came up on their computer screens when they scanned her passport. Panama also maintains their own in-house database and a list of people who will be refused entry if they show up at the immigration gates. Remember the Canadian girl who wrote and published an article about mining that was in favor of all of the environmental elements and against the government of Ricardo Martinelli? They didn't let her in either and they treated her exactly the same way. They simply turned her around and put her on the next plane out of the country - she never made it out of the airport, just like in this case. So, while the writer seems to think she was denied entry due to spilled perfume, I suspect something else way in play. I don't know what, but I'll bet it was more than just a little Chanel Number 69.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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